Samsung Orion Dual-Core 1GHz Chipset Revealed, Expects to Ship 10 Million Galaxy Tabs


In another round of press releases from the Korean technology company today, Samsung’s announcing the existence of their 1GHz dual-core chipset based on the ARM Cortex A9, being named by them the Orion. This is looking to be the official successor to the 1GHz single-core Hummingbird chipset (based on ARM Cortex A8) seen in their phones today as Samsung’s already expressed plans to introduce the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S smartphones sometime in 2011. I’d bet money that they’ll be equipped with these beasts.

What will the Orion bring, anyway? 1080p video decoding and encoding (playback and recording), an on-chip HDMI 1.3a interface, embedded GPS, and a triple display controller to work alongside that HDMI interface (meaning you could possibly use your phone while a video is playing in high definition through HDMI on your television).


It’s said that the Orion will deliver 5x the 3D performance over the previous generation from Samsung, but they didn’t go into specifics regarding the GPU they’ll be using.  It’s also being designed on a 45nm low-power die, meaning battery life might not take a hit compared to the relatively weaker chipsets of today. The chipset should be shipping later this year to select manufacturers.

Samsung’s also expecting to ship 10 million Galaxy Tabs worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s an ambitious goal up against the iPad, but who are we to say Samsung can’t meet it? They’re doing just as well as they said they would in the smartphone market with the Galaxy S, and while we can’t judge performance between two different markets, we won’t count them out at all. Read on for the full press details.

Samsung Introduces High Performance, Low Power Dual CORTEXTM – A9 Application Processor for Mobile Devices

TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced its new 1GHz ARM® CORTEXTM A9-based dual-core application processor, codenamed Orion, for advanced mobile applications. Device OEM developers now have a powerful dual processor chip platform designed specifically to meet the needs of high-performance, low-power mobile applications including tablets, netbooks and smartphones. Samsung’s new processor will be demonstrated at the seventh annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held here in Taiwan at the Westin Taipei Hotel.

“Consumers are demanding the full web experience without compromise while on the go,” said Dojun Rhee, vice president of Marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. “Given this trend, mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth. Samsung’s newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life.”

Designed using Samsung’s 45 nanometer low-power process technology, Orion features a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, each comes with a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Samsung also included a 1MB L2 cache to optimize CPU processing performance and provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment. In addition, the memory interface and bus architecture of Orion supports data intensive multimedia applications including full HD video playback and high speed 3D action games.

Samsung’s new application processor incorporates a rich portfolio of advanced multimedia features implemented by hardware accelerators, such as video encoder/decoder that supports 30fps video playback and recording at 1080P full HD resolution. Using an enhanced graphics processing unit (GPU), the new processors are capable of delivering 5 times the 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung.

For design flexibility and system BOM cost reduction, Orion integrates a set of interfaces commonly used in mobile devices to configure various peripheral functionalities. For example, with this processor, customers have the choice to use different types of storage including NAND flash, moviNANDTM, SSD or HDD providing both SATA, and eMMC interfaces. Customers can also choose their appropriate memory options including low power LPDDR2 or DDR3, which is commonly used for high performance. In addition, a global positioning system (GPS) receiver baseband processor is embedded in the processor to seamlessly support location based services (LBS), which is critical in many emerging mobile applications.

Orion features an onboard native triple display controller architecture that compliments multi-tasking operations in a multiple display environment. A mobile device using the Orion processor can simultaneously support two on-device display screens, while driving a third external display such as a TV or a monitor, via an on-chip HDMI 1.3a interface.

Orion is designed to support package-on-package (POP) with memory stacking to reduce the footprint. A derivative of Orion, which is housed in a standalone package with a 0.8mm ball pitch, is also available.

Samsung’s new dual-core application processor, Orion, will be available to select customers in the fourth quarter of 2010 and is scheduled for mass production in the first half of 2011.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Officially Official: Samsung Fascinate Online September 8th, In-Stores the 9th for $199.99

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  1. I would have expected 32nm or even 28nm transistors

  2. This definitely is worth the 200$ tie with carriers.

  3. 1080p decoding of what codec? I hope they support WebM.

  4. When can we expect this to hit the mobile market?

  5. Samsung will not ship 10mil Galaxy Tabs if the pricing rumours are correct.

  6. Pricing rumours are not correct. Samsung is doing very well with Galaxy S worldwide sales in a large part because they’ve done a good job keeping the price-point under control, they’ll do the same with the Tab.

  7. new Apple A5 processor:D

  8. 10 mil Galaxy Tab?


    Might be, if the price is right. list Galaxt Tab for 617 GBP (including VAT).

    That is too frakkin expensive!!!!!

  9. Good job Sammy. I know their current Hummingbird processor already beats dual core snapdragons lol. This new one will be pretty crazy.

  10. @Curiant

    I would rather trust Samsung again. They kept their promise with their Galaxy S phones selling like hotcakes. Many people said it not going to sell lol. EAT IT.

  11. @mino

    Sammy makes most of apples components including the cpu lol. Ah, I hate fanboys.

  12. Samsung already promised 3 times the GPU performance with their SGS phone against ANY HTC and ANY MOTOROLA, and it was true lol. Now they claim 5 times of SGS WOW!!!

  13. The pricing of the Galaxy tablet must be at or below the iPad price or it will never sell, Samsung knows this. Therefore, the high pricing rumors are obviously incorrect. With that said, they better offer a WiFi only model if they want to sell 10 million or it will never happen.

  14. yeah Teckel

    Samsung is no small company. I’m sure they will do the right thing :) Ah, the Giant has waken to the world of Android. It’s Game over.

  15. Out of all Cortex-A8 based processors, Samsung’s Hummingbird performs the best. (see for results). Given their claim of Orion’s superiority over Hummingbird, I fully expect Orion to outperform other Cortex A9 based processors from Qualcomm and Texas Instrument.

    The question is, will they release this technology to other companies in quantity though? Samsung seems to be getting more and more comfortable selling their own hardware in larger numbers. They are already making Super AMOLED exclusively for their own phones only.

  16. Apple’s processor is based on Samsung’s Hummingbird core. Just slightly modified by Apple (guessing that is why the Hummingbird in Samsung performs better graphics wise than the A4 in Apple iPhone/iPad).

  17. @Ace: Actually, the A4 iPhone 4/iPad CPU is not slightly modified by Apple. The A4 has a slower and previous generation GPU than the Hummingbird. Basically, the A4 CPU is last generation, the Hummingbird is the current generation, and Orion is next generation. Apple probably won’t use Samsung for their CPUs going forward with the spanking Samsung is giving to Apple in the phone and soon to be tablet market.

  18. @Wello

    The phones usually come out about a year after the processor, so late 2011.

  19. WhereTF is my Vibrant FroYo!!

  20. teckel: A4 SoC have Hummingbird cpu but old gpu thats all

  21. Orion’s CPU core will perform about the same as other Cortex A9 based processors. The most

    interesting aspect of Orion is its GPU – Samsung claims it is up to 5 times faster than Hummingbird,

    which is already the fastest on the market! If this is true, Samsung will again have the fastest GPU

    on the market amongst Cortex A9 based processors (well, at least according to this article)!

    Here’s a good article for Samsung Orion, if yo want to know a bit more details on this processor:


  22. hii guys
    It is a well known fact that samsung makes processors and apple buys from samsung, slightly modifies it and renames it to Apple A4/Apple A5 and one more thing to say 1Ghz Dual Core A9 Processor / Apple A5 processor is one and the same.
    Samsung Galaxy S II specs are out now and after 2 months it comes with AT&T contract.

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